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The Next Windows Has An Official Name

For several months, Microsoft has referred to its Vista successor as "Windows 7." Most of us naturally thought that name was a placeholder for a moniker that would be crafted through deep thought in the marketing department and several months of focus groups. Well, throw all that away. The next version of Windows will be called Windows 7.
For several months, Microsoft has referred to its Vista successor as "Windows 7." Most of us naturally thought that name was a placeholder for a moniker that would be crafted through deep thought in the marketing department and several months of focus groups. Well, throw all that away. The next version of Windows will be called Windows 7.Microsoft VP Mike Nash announced the new (old? same?) name in the Windows 7 blog today and reiterated that the kimono on Windows 7 would be opening wider during the Windows Professional Developers Conference and the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference, to be held in just a few weeks in Los Angeles.

Although Windows 7 isn't an exciting name, it does avoid the problem of being associated with a particular release year. It also avoids the difficulty of picking a name that can appeal to consumers, small businesses, and corporations. No doubt we'll still see "editions" of Windows 7 tailored to appeal to all of those groups, but the main name won't turn off any of them. Perhaps the bland name signals that Microsoft intends to focus on features, functionality, and performance, which would be a very good thing.

As difficult as it's become to get customers to move to new Windows versions, there is a good chance that Windows 7 will be the last conventional monolithic release of the operating system. Updates to this next version may be rolled out in an incremental fashion, more like service packs than disruptive step-function upgrades. If that happens, I can see Microsoft dropping the "7" altogether and referring to its flagship simply as "Windows."

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer